The year was 1997. The Fugees, one of music’s freshest acts of the mid 90’s, would disband and embark on solo efforts, crushing the alt-hip hop loving spirits of this particular blogger. But it would be for the best. Member Lauryn Hill released one of the most widely acclaimed albums in history with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, while Pras Michel dropped a well worn party jam in “Ghetto Superstar,” and prolific entertainer Wyclef Jean offered up his own chart topping LP The Carnival featuring a slew of memorable cuts including today’s throwback.
“Guantanamera,” a recast of the Cuban music scene’s shining star, follows in the same lyrical vein of the original as Wyclef agonizes over an unshakable Latina beauty. That’s where most of the similarities end. Sure the melodic essence is still in tact with the flair of the Spanish guitar playing backup. But this is 1997 we’re talking about, so it’s no surprise to hear that bass heavy percussion loop come through so prominently and of course you know there’s gonna be a featured verse. The honors on this track go to former Fugee Ms. Lauryn Hill, who divulges a colorful backstory for our title enchantress. And last but certainly not least, Cuban salsa legend Celia Cruz provides her own backing vocals bridging the past with the present to come full circle on this famed ode.
Chase your own Guantanamera with a play below: